Gryphon Solo crossed the finish line at 6:45 ATD this morning in Halifax, NS, after a long and painful, light air, upwind race. These conditions did not suit the big red boat. She prefers to crack her sheets and reach off or run before the wind and there was none of that to be had this entire race.
In fact, Gryphon Solo's major weapon, the canting keel, which is normally deployed on the upwind side to flatten the boat, was most often deployed to the leeward side in this race, to induce heel and reduce wetted surface. Wind speeds of 4 to 8 knots and variable direction but mostly straight from Halifax made for some long watches and the need for patience.
"The long and short of it is," said skipper Joe Harris, "that we tried our best but this was just not our race, not close to our optimal conditions. We just need to be happy that we finished in a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps I used up all my lucky wind cards in the Bermuda 1-2."
"There are many boats still out there with many miles still to go and not a lot of wind in the forecast," Harris concluded, "so I guess we should count our blessings to be finished. Congratulations to Blue Yankee, the new Reichel-Pugh 66' footer that showed some serious upwind wheels in this race and was first to finish by a wide margin."
Harris and crew are now at the dock of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and have just cleared Canadian customs and Gryphon Solo passed the post-race safety inspection. It is time for liquid breakfast and a nap. Team Gryphon Solo will be preparing for a quick turnaround and delivery back to Newport departing tomorrow.
Read stories and see pictures from the Marblehead Halifax Race on: http://www.gryphonsolo.com/
There's more at http://www.marbleheadtohalifax.com/